Hope for improved livelihoods was inspired in many on Friday when 44 refugees graduated in tertiary skills at There is Hope Skills Centre in Dowa.
As they received their certificates, the graduands were challenged to think towards creating jobs as opposed to going out to look for jobs.
“The truth is that there are no jobs out there,” said Richard Chirwa, deputy director of technical and vocational training, who was guest of honour at the ceremony.
Added Chirwa: “But opportunities still abound. You need to think enterpreneurship to make it in this life. Actually, this is the best way to grow the country’s sociol-economic development. In the end, you are going to need to employ others, thereby reducing poverty in the country.”
During the six-month training at the institute, the graduands, mostly refugees from Dzaleka Camp in the district, honed skills in carpentry, brick-laying and tailoring.
Forty-five-year-old Bahat Rutare of Congolese origin was all smiles to have earned her certificate in tailoring, saying she now can ably fend for herself.
The school was founded in 2006 by Innocent Magambi, a Burundian national who himself had lived in refugee camps in Eastern and Southern Africa.
This was the second cohort of graduands the school has produced since it started enrolling for vocational skills training. The first cohort of students graduated last December.
There Is Hope has since provided the graduands with start-up tools in their respective fields.